SNP MSP for the South of Scotland Michael Russell has hit out at figures released this week showing that over the next five years NHS Dumfries & Galloway faces a bill of £67 million for capital projects which are worth only £9.8 million.
Figures published by the Treasury show that NHS Dumfries & Galloway will actually have made payments equalling the value of the projects over the next five years but that payments will continue to reach a staggering £67 million over the life of the deal, part of a £7 billion burden faced by the NHS across Scotland
Between 2010-11 and 2014-15 NHS Dumfries & Galloway will pay £9.7 million in unitary charges for buildings with a capital value of £9.8 million.
Mr Russell commented:
“It is ironic that in the run-up to polls closing in the region’s Health Board Elections, we have confirmation from the Treasury that NHS Dumfries & Galloway is facing a £67 million bill for projects worth only £9.8 million. That is the legacy Labour and the Lib Dems left Dumfries & Galloway after their 8 years in power at Holyrood.
“These statistics just highlight the economic incompetence of Labour and the Lib Dems who are happy to see the public pay this ridiculous premium for capital projects.
“This is a devastating hit to the budget of NHS Dumfries & Galloway particularly at a time when budgets will be under increasing pressure as a result of Labour’s economic mismanagement in London.
“The NHS will pay as much to the banks in repayments over the next five years as these projects are actually worth, but that’s not the worst of it. The payments don’t stop at the value of the asset, they will continue up to nearly £67 million; nearly seven times more than the buildings were worth in the first place.
“That is an example of the profligacy and incompetence that characterised Labour’s financial management and that Scotland’s public services are now paying for. What should astound everybody is that Labour still thinks that PPP/PFI is the best way to pay for public services.”